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Union North School Board Approves Stuckmyer for LaVille Business Department

July 31, 2011

08/01/11 Although two members of the five-member Union-North School board were absent from a meeting on Thursday night, those present were able to consider and approve a number of agenda items.

Mike Berger and Rob Swathwood were unable to attend the meeting. Voting were Mark Dickson, Dave Grenert and Dennis Graf.

The board voted 3-0 to change a board policy concerning the evaluation the superintendent. Previously, the superintendent was given an evaluation by the board on November 30 of each year. It was noted in the last school board meeting that new board members would not have adequate time to give an objective evaluation and the suggestion was made to move the process to June 30. The policy was considered on second reading and was adopted.

Although not listed specifically on the published agenda for the meeting, the board unanimously approved the hire of Kevin Stuckmyer for the Business Department of the LaVille Jr.-Sr. High School. Stuckmyer will be filling a vacancy due to the resignation of Gene Baker. Baker has taken a position with the Culver Schools.

Teachers at the LaVille Elementary School and LaVille Jr.-Sr. High School will have their work days extended for the upcoming school year. In years past, teachers were contracted to work seven hours and twenty minutes each school day. The newly approved length of the teacher work day has now been set at eight hours and fifteen minutes. Superintendent Dr. Terry Barker said the hours will be from 7:45 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. However, he also indicated that there will have to be some flexibility in some cases to allow teachers to work with students before or after school hours when needed. Barker indicated that there is also safety issues such as buses arriving that needed to be addressed with extra staff available. Teachers will have a 30 minute duty-free lunch period within the new work day requirement.

Barker said it would be “silly” to require the extended time on snow days and would waive the required number of hours. Barker said, “We need to do this to sustain what we have at the elementary and make improvements at the high school.”

Barker told the board at the first meeting in July that they are considering a shuttle bus for those students who stay after school for extended help with lessons. At the meeting on July 28, Barker said they will start out the school year without shuttle service and add it later if there is a need. Barker said the service could cost some $5,000 per year.

The board approved the rental book fees for the 2011-2012 school year at the high school level at $275.00. The fee includes the use of individual MAC computers that students will have use of throughout the school day and also may take them home. Barker said the fee in previous years for hard-back textbooks and consumables was about $250.00-$260.00. In order to help parents pay the fees, the school will allow up to five installment payments. “Students are no longer going to be carrying huge piles of books.” Barker said.

Those students who qualify for the federal free lunch program will not have to pay the fee.

Barker said the exception would be some special education students who would not be using the computers would be assessed a $20 per semester fee. He said there could also be fees for art, FACS (Family and Consumer Science), and Industrial Arts classes. Board member Dave Grenert said, “There appears to be a lot of sticker shock.” He added, “I wish we as a board had time to get the word out.” Barker said the fee was based on an annual computer lease fee of $138,000 for approximately 570 laptops.